New stroke map shows how people can quit smoking

A recent study, which showed how cigarette smokers quit the habit spontaneously after suffering a stroke or injury, has helped map regions of the skull that control addiction of any kind. The research, published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine and cited by the New York Times, explains how some scans, while showing damage from a clinical episode, also expose “patches of brain regions where injury miraculously relieves symptoms.” from someone, offering clues as to how doctors might accomplish the same thing.

Obviously, this helps us to work on a targeted approach in all kinds of addiction treatment and to help people quit smoking. As one of the study’s lead authors, Dr Juho Joutsa, a neurologist at the University of Turku in Finland, said, “One of the biggest problems with addiction is that we don’t really know where in the brain is the main problem that we should target with treatment. Hopefully after that we will have a very good idea of ​​these regions and networks.”

These imaging studies have revealed neurochemical and functional changes in the brains of addicted subjects that provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying addictions.

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Neurochemical studies have shown that large and rapid increases in dopamine are associated with addictive reinforcing effects but also that after chronic drug addiction and during withdrawal, brain dopamine functions are markedly diminished and these decreases are associated dysfunction of the pre-orbital regions.

Functional imaging has shown that during intoxication or craving, these frontal regions activate as part of complex patterns that include brain circuits involved in reward. Attempts to understand and treat addictions as purely biological or purely environmental issues have not been very successful. PET can be used to measure labeled compounds that selectively bind to specific concentration types of receptors, transporters, or enzymes that do not disrupt function. Most PET studies of any type of addiction focus on the brain’s dopamine systems, as these are believed to be a neurotransmitter system through which most drugs of abuse exert reinforcing effects.

During intoxication, there is a complex pattern of activation and/or deactivation that includes the ventral tegmental area and the substantia nigra where the DA cells (dopaminergic cells) are located. This study highlights the same fact that addiction is associated with elective impulses to the brain. A stroke or trauma may suggest that nicotine addiction may be dependent on a significant addiction. This could be a major target for drug addiction treatment that delivers electrical impulses to the brain and has shown promising results in quitting smoking. It is understandable to assume that a stroke involving addiction centers such as the central trigeminal area of ​​the amygdala or the substantia nigra (deep nuclei of white matter that produces dopamine) can lead to loss of cravings. of nicotine or cocaine, ultimately leading to detoxification.

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